I’m writing from Dobra Tea House in Burlington, VT. I’ve been up here since Monday rehearsing with the band. Tonight is our last rehearsal and tomorrow we fly to L.A.. The band sounds great as we’ve been learning more tunes from Mike’s new CD as well as some interesting cover tunes. Very psyched!

I’m thinking about making the blog entries this tour more about the personal experience of life on the road. There are certainly aspects about tour life that most people take for granted I bet. Things like trying to stay connected with loved ones, missing events at home while away, staying healthy, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

But I wanted to write more about that BreakDownWay.com video experience. They’ve put up another of my lessons btw. Check it out here.

In the beginning of the year I took an acting class. It’s been something that’s been in the back of my mind for years and years. I’ve always thought that acting would be something I could do and enjoy even though I’ve had no experience at all. It was certainly a lot of fun and I definitely learned a ton of useful stuff; useful in a variety of ways. The gains from it have spilled over into all aspects of my life I’d say.

Right after I took the class I got approached by BreakDownWay.com to do a video guitar lesson. They said I’d be the first electric guitarist on the site! I went on the site and checked it out. Very cool! They make great videos but beyond that there are chord charts that line up with the vids and whatnot. It’s all just very well done. So I accepted the offer.

The filming was to be done in NYC all in a single day, about eight hours worth. I put together some notes about different lesson ideas I could do.

It was quite a different experience than what I thought it was going to be. I thought it would be interview style where they’d ask about stuff and I would respond, but instead they set me up, turned on three cameras and said, “Go.”

I found that it took about an hour to get through the notes I had made and I still had hours and hours to go!

I was really nervous! This is where the acting class came in so handy. I was able to focus and get beyond my nerves and really become the instructor I wanted to be. Of course when I watch the videos I look really nervous to me but not as nervous as I actually would have been!

They filmed hours of stuff and now they’re going through that footage and cutting things up into individual lessons. The first lesson was about lead guitar techniques. I talked about some technical stuff in the beginning but I really wanted to focus on something that most instructional videos don’t focus on: expression through improvisation.

It was such a great experience and I’m so glad I did it! I’ve always thought that teaching was a great way to learn but this was teaching me things on many different levels, musically and beyond, and now as I watch the videos after they’re posted I find myself still learning from the experience!

They’ve just put up the second installment which is an instructional about playing my song, “Cruel World” using a looper.

Ok, back to tour…

Of course once we get to L.A. we’ll be on a tour bus traveling all the way across the country. Living on a bus with so many people is always interesting. One thing that I’ve noticed is that we’ve all found our permanent bunk locations. The tour buses have 12 bunks in them, arranged in two rows of three on each side. So they can be divided into groups: bottom, middle and top bunks; front and rear bunks; driver’s side and passenger side bunks.

For the past few tours it seems everybody takes the same bunks as last time even though it’s a different bus each time. Everyone has their preferences. Some won’t take top bunks; some won’t take bottom bunks. Some won’t take rear bunks (too close to the engine).

Mine is always the bottom rear bunk on the driver’s side. I like the bottom because I don’t have to worry about falling out, and it’s very easy to get into; no climbing involved. The rear bunks are noisier but I have no trouble sleeping through noise so I always take a rear bunk.

Today’s question is: which bunk would you take?

Ok, enough for now. See you “out there”…

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